Thursday, November 12, 2009

Forcing the light

We had such a crap day yesterday. I can only blame it on this flu which seems to be both dragging on and on and dragging our spirits down. Although I love Martinmas, it was tempting to call the whole thing off yesterday. We just weren't feeling the love and the light, and I wasn't sure we could carry it. And anyway, we're supposed to be celebrating it again on Saturday with other families, in German (or Swiss German?!-- they haven't actually given us the songs to learn yet).

Anyway, we decided to go out and sing with our noses running and without light in our hearts. And I think it was the best decision. One way to find the light is to force it. Sometimes the candle goes out and you have to relight it. It was a pretty good lesson, a very tangible lesson, for all of us.

When things were going poorly yesterday we put everything aside, pulled out the kite paper and folded window stars. Sunburst offered up the story of St. Martin, from memory, and it was quite sweet. We made soup. A very green, minty, broccoli soup which we ate before going out with our lanterns into the cold, dark night.

We live out in the country now, and we could barely see the path with our lanterns. It's not that they're aren't bright and glowing. They do a fair job. It's just that it's so incredibly dark out here. After having lived in the city for so long, the children gasped at the starlight. And we walked... sometimes off the dirt path and into the weeds. Some of us stepped in horse poo which littered the path. Kitty Bill walked into a fence with his face, luckily it wasn't an electric one. It was an experience that mirrored our experience lately, both inside and out.

We pressed on through the dark with our voices and our lanterns held out before us. At one point there were hoofbeats, and we saw a rider crossing the path in front of us wearing a headlamp. That was interesting! And we finally made it to the top of the hill where we could look down upon the lights of five different cities. The air felt different there, and it was breathtaking.

It was a good message:

Press on, press on.
Even when you can't see the way.
Even when the night is dark, and the path is unclear.
Even when it is hard and makes no sense.
Press on.*

We turned the bend and headed home on a different path. I coaxed a reluctant Kitty Bill onward with promises of hot cocoa to warm him up, and we finally made it back home again.

Everyone is a little worse for wear today. Exhausted, but somehow more peaceful. It's early yet. The hills are shrouded in mist and it's drizzling rain, but I have hope that the light will shine from within us.

*(Reminder to self: This message could be equally applied to this year's Nanowrimo novel.)


  1. Thanks for sharing your Martinmas story - inspite of the flu!! Poor you! I hope you get well soon!!The story warmed up my heart..and it made me smile - because it was written so lovely but also because you managed to write with humour although you're ill! Thanks ;O)

  2. I so much hope health comes to you all soon. I think you made a wise choice to force the light.

    Best of luck with your novel! I hope you will tell us about it when you are done!

  3. Thanks for the well wishes, you guys.

    And Sarah, best of luck to you, too! My novel is going in strange directions, but then I guess my last one did too. I love being continually surprised by the process. Feel free to buddy me - I'm sweetlittlemaniacs


Thank you for taking the time to leave a message. I appreciate your sweet words so much!

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